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Eugene Weekly : Procrastinators' Gift Guide : 12.20.07





Procrastinators' Gift Guide 2007

Bopping Around the Holiday Shrub
EW's music fiends on some of the year's best

Swift Reads
Cute, weird, funny gift books

Not Too Late for Toys
A last-minute tour of Eugene's non-toxic toy options

Bleeding At the Holidays
Giving for exceptionally good reasons

Last Call
Wine advice for the final days of 2007


Bleeding At the Holidays

Giving for exceptionally good reasons

By Suzi Steffen

OK. I was going to write about Fun! Gifts! For! People! With! Chronic! Diseases! (like the fabulous aDorn bags for people with diabetes, pictured, available at www.adorndesigns.com,or the super-fun "Groovy Patches" for insulin pump set sites, available at www.groovypatches.com),but in quick succession I met two fellow diabetics (one type I like me, one type II) who don't have health insurance.

And it didn't seem so much fun anymore. I mean, hey, for them and other people with chronic diseases, perhaps some gift cards for pharmacies? A membership to those associations dedicated to finding cures for chronic diseases? Or, um, how about a stem cell line? Those things aren't as bright as a Groovy Patch or a pink leopard skin for an insulin pump, but they do show your love.

Anyway. When I'm not bleeding from my glucose-tested fingers, I'm a bleeding-heart gift giver. Here are some last-minute happy liberal gifts that also make the recipient feel loved; just make sure you select the appropriate item for the appropriate person and donate in his or her name.

For the Soft Cuddly Environmentalists on your list, Defenders of Wildlife offers the Wildlife Adoption Center (www.wildlifeadoption.org).It's too late to get the cuddly stuffed animals (plus certificate of adoption) in time for Christmas Day, but it's never too late to try to help save penguins, wolves, sea otters, hummingbirds or any of those other charismatic macrofauna by simply joining and contributing to DoW.

For Former and Future Peace Corps Volunteers and Other Social Program Fans, there's Heifer International (www.heifer.org),from which you can buy animals for needy families around the world (you decide what kind of animals — a llama, a swarm of bees, goats, ducks, etc.). Or, if you feel (as some animal rights groups do) that this is "animal slave trade," it's easy to get gifts from the Women's Bean Project (www.womensbeanproject.com),Fruit Tree Planting Foundation (www.fptf.org)or Sustainable Harvest (www.sustainableharvest.org).

For Book Lovers, the American Library Association has a tremendous service for donating to the destroyed libraries of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita (the URL is a pain in the ass, so Google ALA Katrina to find the page). If you'd rather give toward books or libraries closer to home, there's always SMART (Start Making a Reader Today; www.getsmartoregon.org).And the Springfield Library has a wishlist on Amazon (maybe you loathe Amazon, but let's suck it up just this once). Don't bleed on the books — just send 'em.